Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 65 ►Violence is Death: Restraint is Life

Published: 04.07.2020

The problem of violence is not new. It has affected and made human beings bewildered and tainted their peace. The influence of it falls over both the parties. The person over whom the violence is caused might feel helpless but one who causes violence surely becomes helpless. At the time of suffering the consequences of violence no friend or relative can provide him relief. Tirthankaras also added their voice to establish this truth and sang the glory of it-—'एस खलु गंथे, एस खलु मोहे, एस खलु मारे, एस खलु णिरए'—Violence is a knot, it is deceit and hell.


Violence is Hell

Violence is hell, is it merely a principle or a realized truth? This kind of question might be raised by many people. In Jaina religion only Thirtankaras have the right to elaborate any principle. They only describe the principle that they have realized existentially. From This point of view there remains no doubt over the principle that they describe. If this principle needs to be examined then a butcher’s house can be visited. I am not discussing the butcher who kills goats and other such animals. A person who gets overruled by his emotions, expresses anger at the slightest provocation he is a bigger butcher. The state of such angry and murderous people have been depicted here-

कंजरा ज्यू लड़वो करै नीच घरां रा बागा |
किस्या मिनखां में मिनख छै, आनै पहिरयां ही कहियै नागा ||

Kanjar is a community, which is popular as violent and conflict oriented. The person of this community keeps on fighting and quarrelling for trivial reasons throughout the day. These people are called ‘naked’ even if they are well clad. If the abode of such people is not hell then what else would it be?

Change in Heaven and Hell is Possible

If we set aside the heaven and hell described in scriptures then almost in every house the scene of heaven and hell can be descended. What is heaven? A place where there is love, friendship, co-operation, where joy and misery are shared, tolerance and honesty; this kind of house is heaven. A house where there is conflict, clashes, resentment, jealousy and presence of such other negative traits, there is no sharing of joy and misery, lack of mutual co-operation and lack of bearing the presence of one another that house is even more miserable than hell.

For the wise persons this very world has been described as ‘Moksha’. In a similar way the experience of heaven and hell take place in the same world. People with conscience bring the heavenly bliss even in a hellish atmosphere and people who lack conscience add anguish of hell even in a heavenly environment.

What to Talk about the Goat Save the Butcher?

Violence is death. When a person carries an arm to kill a creature, whether it gets killed or not, but the assassin dies before hand. If people come to realize this truth then war, terrorism and crimes like murder can be stopped. But whom to explain? No one is ready to listen in the first place.

 Some people went to Acharya Bhikshu and said, ‘Butchers kill the goats, we save them, what will we get?’ Acharya Bhikshu said, ‘You better save the poor butchers. The goats will be saved on their own accord.’ To elaborate this factor symbolically he drew an analogy— ‘A person borrows and the other pays the due. A butcher borrows and a goat pays. If the butchers get over violence then they would no longer be killers. In the absence of killers there is no need to save the goats; they will be saved on their own accord.’ This philosophical thought of Acharya Bhikshu reveals the fact that violence is not something that takes life of some living creature but the violent feelings that the assassin carries within himself. What is violence is death. From this point of view those who cause violence they only die.

What is It of Our Use?

Violence and cruelty are two sibling sisters. They stay together. In the absence of cruelty violence cannot go on. In the same way in the absence of violence cruelty cannot go on. It is no less difficult a task to preach a cruel person.

A king was sick and tired of the arrogant prince. He was the only son and on the top of that he was undisciplined. His ruthless activities had caused havoc in the whole kingdom. Drinking, consuming meat, gambling, fighting, teasing the pedestrians and such other activities had become a norm of his daily life. The king tried to control his son but the prince did not change his course of life.

Everyday complaints of the prince’s ill-activities reached the king. The king’s mind was in turmoil. He went to Lord Buddha. He put his problem forward before him. Buddha assured the king and instructed him to send his son to him. Seeing his face Buddha could assess the negative traits that the prince was carrying within. The place where Buddha was sitting, there was a Neem plant. Buddha asked for a branch from that plant and tore a few leaves and handed them over to the prince. The prince with his droopy eyes looked at those leaves and asked—‘what’s this?’ Buddha replied peacefully— ‘Rajkumar (Prince)! Why don’t you have a taste of them?’ Rajkumar put a few leaves in his mouth. After chewing them bitterness spread over his mouth and he winced in disgust. He threw the leaves and asked ‘Which plant do these leaves belong to?’ Buddha indicated toward the small plant. He instructed his men to uproot the plant. When the prince started moving from there Buddha had already reached the place. He said, ‘Rajkumar (Prince)! What did you do? Why did you uproot the plant that was growing?’ The prince replied— ‘Bhante (Lord) the plant is so bitter in its nascent stage. When it will grow u its bitterness would be so much that it will destroy the sweetness of other plants growing nearby. What use will it be of us?

Buddha was waiting or such a moment. He said, 'If a prince is cruel and debauch ever-since his childhood, what will he do when he grows up? Should the cruel and brutal prince be executing?'

These words of Buddha moved the prince deeply. He got a realization. He took an oath to change himself completely in his mind. His oath yielded positive results. The king's problem was solved. The public also got relief.

Restraint is Life, Violence is Death

Violence is death, cruelty is death, after having realized this truth a person must think of taking refuge in non-violence. What is non- violence? Restraint is non-violence. For penance of restrain one has to take a vow—'असंजमं परियाणामि, संजमं उवसंपज्जामि'—l renounce non-restraint and accept restraint. Why? 'संयम: खलु जीवनम्'— Restrain is life, non-violence is life. Man wants to live. That is the reason why he has to tread on the path ‘of restrain or non-violence and he also has to consolidate this belief that violence is death, non- restrain is death.

Children’s Education before Birth

When should the penance of restraint begin? As a solution of this question a life incident of Aristotle is memorable. A woman once approached Aristotle and said, ‘When should I begin to educate my child?’ Aristotle put a question forward before that woman-— ‘Mother! What’s the age of your child?’ The woman said, ‘My child is almost five year old. Aristotle said, ‘Mother! You are five years late. A child’s education must start before his birth’.

Before birth means it must start from the mother’s womb. A child remains in mother’s womb. At this time the mother by her higher values and activities can teach the best lessons of life to her child. In Jaina Agam texts there are numerous examples such as that. Queen Dharini became pregnant. She changed her lifestyle. She would live a restrained life, speak slowly, take food in a controlled manner, remain calm, sing devotional hymns in memory of Lord and spend some time in the company of saints and recluses (Satsang). If the mother of this world seeks restrain in their lifestyle then many problems would be easily solved.

Those who walk on the path of restrain become fearless and those who indulge in non-restrain become fearful or timid. The more non- restrain increases the more the environment becomes polluted.

Whatever had happened so far had already happened. Man must still wake up and take a vow-'इयाणिं णो जमहं पुव्वमकासी पमाएणं'— The degree in which non-retrain has increased mistakenly would not increase now, this small vow can become a security cover or a cocoon for a person. Non-restrain is a mistake, is violence, is death and is everything that pollutes life. A form of violence is conflict. A person getting into conflict remains at a loss-from spiritual point of view, even from material point of view he has to incur a heavy loss. Pointing at this matter it has been said—

कलह कदे आछो नहीं, लड़ता लिछमी न्हासै|
दुख-दारिद्रय घर में घुसै, गुण रा पुंज विणासै||

After having reached the conclusion of non-restraint or violence, a person must change his course of life and move forward steadily in the penance of restrain then the problem of violence can be solved to a certain extent.


Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Agam
  4. Anger
  5. Aristotle
  6. Bhikshu
  7. Buddha
  8. Deceit
  9. Environment
  10. JAINA
  11. Jaina
  12. Moksha
  13. Neem
  14. Non-violence
  15. Satsang
  16. Tirthankaras
  17. Tolerance
  18. Violence
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